News & Multimedia

Johanna Long: All Access

Welcome to my first blog entry for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to write about my experiences so far in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as my journey leading up to the Indy 250 with ML Motorsports. This year has been filled with many first time experiences, challenges and tons of excitement and I couldn’t be more eager to share it with all of you.

I’ll give you all a quick background of my career so far in racing. My dad raced Late Models when I was a little girl, so I grew up around the sport and absolutely loved everything about it. I started begging my dad to put me in a go-kart when I was five, but it took a few years of convincing him before he would give me a shot behind the wheel. When I turned eight, my dad took me to a go-kart track in Baker, FL which was a mistake on his part because I was NOT leaving without a go-kart or some type of agreement that he would let me race. He finally gave in and from that point forward I started racing and I haven’t turned back since.

My dad moved me up to the Late Model series at age 14, and by the time I was 17, I had many wins and a couple of championships under my belt. When I turned 18, my dad started his own NASCAR truck team to give me that final opportunity to reach my long-time dream of making it to the elite level, but with limited funding it was extremely tough to get to the track week in and week out so we ended up doing a partial schedule in 2011. Over the offseason, I was unsure about my future in racing because our family team was only promised five races. Then, I was introduced to Mary Louise Miller, team owner of Warsaw, Indiana based NASCAR team, ML Motorsports. We both had similar goals and were eager to pave the way for women in racing, so we hit it off really well.

My dream of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series became a reality over the offseason as I signed with ML Motorsports to a 21-race schedule for the 2012 season. It was an awesome feeling to have someone believe in me enough to give me this opportunity. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be 20 years old racing at this level with the most talented drivers in the world at amazing tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It has been a huge learning curve considering this is my rookie year. It has been all about learning the Nationwide Series cars as well as the tracks that I’ve never been to.  My main objectives are to learn and gain as much seat time and experience that I possibly can, while proving that I belong in this series. It’s extremely important to me as a driver to gain respect from my fellow competitors, the media and fans. So far, I feel like I’m gaining that respect one race at a time, which is rewarding in itself.

I’m now nine races into my season, and I feel pretty optimistic about my performances and future races. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not content with where I’m currently at, but I feel like our team continuously progresses at each race that we attend and we are anxious to continue that momentum.

I hope you all have enjoyed reading my first blog. I can write for days, but I will stop and save some of my thoughts for next week’s blog. I will call this entry my “Intro Blog.” My next blog will be all about my experiences and challenges so far in the Nationwide Series as well as my quest leading up to the Indy250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting EXCITED! 

-Johanna
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Johanna Long: All Access
 
Johanna Long: All Access
Read More
Related Media
Ed Carpenter
 
Pruett's Preview: Firestone 600, Continued
With the Verizon IndyCar Series and TMS left to halt the race after 72 laps (173 kilometers) and multiple delays due to bad weather, the ninth race on the 2016 tour will take the green flag after a 78-day hold. And with 177 laps (427km) left to complete, teams will receive two brief 10-minute warmup sessions before the field is placed into the positions each driver held on the last lap in June and sent into furious action at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Read More
Indy 500
 
101st Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Highlighting 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series May Schedule
The series released its full 2017 schedule and it includes the iconic 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 and the fourth annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 13.
Read More
Sky Lounge
 
Sky Lounge, Checkered Flag Club Offer Upscale Options for Red Bull Air Race Viewing
For the first time in more than a century, the racing action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be in the skies rather than on the pavement for the Red Bull Air Race.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Pruett's Preview: ABC Supply 500
Ryan Hunter-Reay didn’t want to celebrate his win at Pocono last year. And he wasn’t alone. Points and trophies were duly awarded after the checkered flag flew at the 2-mile superspeedway, but in light of the accident that would claim the life of his teammate Justin Wilson the following day, Pocono 2015 is more a reminder of what IndyCar lost than anything its finishers gained.
Read More
John Cooper
 
Remembering John Cooper
John Cooper, who died Wednesday at the age of 84, was a major player in the motorsports world, not just during his time from 1979-82 as the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was the kind of man who knew not only the big sponsor developments of the day, but why Joe Smith missed Saturday night’s feature at the local dirt track. Cooper was as much of a racing enthusiast as a mover-and-shaker.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,304
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Happy #NationalDogDay! Here is Rodger Ward and his canine companion at IMS in 1951! https://t.co/YfqInichgH
about 32 minutes ago